Introduction to Chemistry Resources: Citation Management

Citation Management

References management software, client-based or web-based, offers similar functions.

  • managing all of your interested references in one place
  • creating required format references list from these references
  • providing you "cite while write" (or "write while cite") function

Some (e.g. Endnote and Endnote on the web) can attach full-text of the aritcles within, others can't.

Some provide shared-references function in order to support collabration among authors.

You can choose whatever reference software you want to use, either buy it, or use free one: RefWorks from USC Libraries, Endnote Online, Zotero, BibTex.

When getting yourself familiarized with reference software, please make sure

  • begin early and choose one that is suitable to your information needs
  • master the procedures of importing interested citations to your software, creating in-text citations and reference lists, and any other reason why you want to use a references management software
  • download all added-in software if there is any
  • Always proof-read your references because they are produced by machines, e.g. check publishers' guidelines, check USC dissertations' reference requirements

Mendeley is free online reference citation management tool that allows you to manage, organize, write, cite and collaborate with folks locally and internationally. As a web-based tool, you can sync desktop and web searching.

Click here for an in-depth guide on using Mendeley. 

Key Features

  •   Sort and organize your collection
  •   Share reference collections with others
  •   Use directly as you write manuscripts
  •    Access with web/device apps


RefWorks is a Web-based bibliography and database manager that allows users to create their own personal database by importing references from text files or online databases. Researchers can use these references in writing their papers and automatically format the paper and the bibliography in seconds.

First time users can create an account on and select the “Create Account” link and use your USC email to start the account.

EndNote Online citation management software is free to USC-affiliates. Access EndNote Online through the Web of Science database.  

  • Web-based: access it from any computer.
  • Collect references from databases such as PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and many more. 
  • Access full-text articles through the "Find it @ USC" link.   
  • Format papers and create bibliographies for your paper with the Cite-While-You-Write plug.
  • Easily switch between citation styles in your paper and bibliography.
  • Collaborate with colleagues by sharing folders of citations.

Click here for an in-depth guide on using EndNote.